To start with what is an innovation? A solution to a common problem (addresses the need) that is accepted globally may be?
While I was in school we used to read lot of books on quiz and innovations and if you have noticed there used to be lot of discoveries in 18th century and early 19th as well, but after mid 19th century they have dropped considerably
Does this mean we have stopped innovating? No way:
- Daily there are tons of concepts, ideas and thoughts floating around every area of research.
- The amount of investment in terms of money, time, effort on research has grown drastically over recent years
- Every year there are 100s of new products getting launched in all segments.
- So many patents being filed every year.
But why don’t we call them as innovation? Why are they not getting into regular books that we used to read?
An answer given by one of my favorite was “we have to wait till we call them as innovation, may be after some years we will treat these as achievements/innovations”
The one that I believe in is “We are sharing an innovation” – there is no longer a single person involved in innovation. The technology is growing exponentially, an idea needs lot of effort to turn it into a solution for our problem.
To dig more: My favorite innovation is Electric Lamp from Thomas A Edison, if I do some self reasoning, I enter into following questions and self answers
- What made him invent Electric Lamp? --- Need?
- He had other energies like Solar, Hydro, etc then why Electricity? --- Accessibility and feasibility may be?
- Was he aware that there was this energy in electricity that can produce Light? Yes, amazing?
- If he had used other sources of energy, would that have been a right choice? No, the innovation might have been deprecated by now.
- How this innovation reached all corners of earth? Today we spend so much on marketing, how did this get marketed? --- May be Common Need of people across the world and demand than some one pushing to accept it.
If I summarize this innovation, it has
- Broader community to accept it as innovation – A global cause/need
- It is be feasible to adopt in any circumstances
- It presents a road map to improve till date
- It is mobile in general, I can carry it where ever I move.
- Not bound to specific area of interest.
Overall – he understood the energy and drove it in a direction that gave a solution for the problem called "Darkness.."
I think this is what we miss today, there are lots of common problems and there are various sources of energies - we need to find right energy to find a right solution.
Unless we do this we cannot call any thing that we do as an innovation….
A quick hint:
Try http://beagleboard.org, it has enormous energy in terms of man power, inventory, intelligence, documentation, awareness, forum to showcase your abilities and capabilities and more over we have lot of global problems to solve…. With this energy if you can find a solution to one of the existing global problems then you are the next -